With over 6 million people vaccinated since the launch of the Covid vaccination drive on January 16, India has become the third country, after the US and UK, in the world with the highest number of Covid vaccines administered. With this in mind, Dr Naresh Trehan, chairman of Medanta Hospital, explains whether one should be worried about side-effects and what to do if they do occur.
Minor side-effects: Often people develop fever, headaches or pain at the site of injection a few hours or maybe a day after being vaccinated. For mild fever, paracetamol can be taken. If your fever is above 102 degrees Fahrenheit, then it is important to report it to the relevant authority and visit a doctor.
Strong and immediate reaction: Some people can have a strong allergic reaction to the vaccine within half an hour of getting injected. This is quite rare and happens among those previously prone to allergic reactions. Most vaccination centres keep those being dosed under observation as a precaution and such reactions can be treated with medicine and care. We haven’t had any vaccine-related deaths in India yet. Some deaths have been reported after vaccination, but they have not been attributed directly to the vaccine.
Follow your vaccine schedule: It is important to take your second dose on time and to follow the advice of doctors and nurses who are administering the vaccine. Don’t skip your second dose if you had a minor reaction to the first. Some side-effects can happen after a vaccine dose but they need not be harmful and should not deter you from your second shot.
Don’t pay heed to online rumours: So far there is no data that says the vaccine can lead to low fertility or heart attacks or is dangerous for the elderly. Don’t fall prey to online conspiracy theories. All the vaccines used around the world, except for Moderna and Pfizer, are tried and tested. In the UK, the Covishield has already been given successfully to the elderly. So there is no need to panic over what happened with Pfizer in Norway. These are two different vaccines.
Have confidence in data: Believe in the data available to us. India has vaccinated over 6 million people and the side-effect rate, so far, is very low. Also, this is a global event and, around the world, most vaccines are using the same platform, so we can learn from our shared experiences. A lot of countries have given vaccines to the elderly and those with comorbid conditions and have had a positive response.ADVERTISEMENT